Executive Board

Barbara Bridgewater – Board President

Barbara Bridgewater has been volunteering with Good Neighbor since fall of 2015 and has been the Board President since July 2016.  She works as a part-time case manager for Compassion Ministries, a transitional family shelter in Waco,  and also teaches English as a Second Language to adults through McLennan Community College. She came to Compassion from Ohio where she was working for a transitional program and emergency shelter for 6 years. Barbara has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Miami of Ohio University and a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Bilingual Education from Ohio University.  Barbara, who has two girls, is married to Phillip Bridgewater, a full-time employee of Habitat for Humanity. The whole family is very involved in Hope Fellowship, a neighborhood church ministry in Waco, as well as with Habitat and Compassion.

Laura Caruthers

Laura Caruthers is a licensed clinical social worker and works at McClennan Community College, as well as Tarleton School of Social Work.  She says, “My background tells me that people in communities are better together…living life and sharing joy on a regular basis.” She leads the Crafternoon program at Good Neighbor – crafting for a cause.

Theresa hagan

Theresa has worked as an Office Manager for Baylor since 2004 and is currently enrolled at Baylor within the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (B.I.C.) program pursuing her BBA, Accounting degree. During those 10 years, Theresa earned an AAS degree in Computer Networking (with high honors) from MCC. One of 15 children, Theresa’s giving spirit was cultivated by her mother, Florence, who devoted much of her own “free time” by volunteering within her church and community. In her honor, Theresa and her family members dedicate a week each year to refurbishing/restoring homes for families in need in their hometown of New Hampton, IA, as part of “Project Flo” (http://www.projectflo.net). Theresa shares her Waco home with husband Michael.  She has three sons, Jack Williams and twin brothers, Steven Williams and Matthew Williams as well as step-daughter Brittany Hagan and step-son Paul Hagan. Theresa and Michael enjoy staying active by hiking, boating, camping and exploring out-of-the-way places.

Kelly Lawson

Kelly Lawson is originally from Tyler, TX but has been a proud Wacoan since 2010.  Kelly and her family moved to Waco in order to live out their faith as members of Hope Fellowship of Waco; engaging neighbors is part of Kelly’s daily life and sense of calling. Kelly has worked for Methodist Children’s Home since 2013, and prior to that was on staff at World Hunger Relief, Inc. Kelly is a graduate of both Texas Tech University and Asbury Theological Seminary. She is married to her husband Billy and together they have two daughters, Eisley and Jubilee.

Clay Polson

Clay first moved to Waco in 2000 to attend seminary and graduate school at Baylor University. Upon completing graduate education in social work and theology, Clay worked as a social worker at Potter’s Vessel Ministries and as a PRN pastoral care giver at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. During this time, Clay was engaged in Waco as a member of Calvary Baptist Church and as a volunteer for Mission Waco’s Manna House. Between 2009 and 2014 Clay taught at colleges in Louisiana and Pennsylvania before having the chance to move back to Waco in 2014 to teach in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor. In addition to teaching, Clay conducts research examining the intersection of religion and community engagement. In particular, he writes about the ways that religious congregations are engaged in strengthening and supporting local communities. Clay and his family are active members of Woodway First United Methodist Church in Woodway, TX.

Laine Scales – Founder

Dr. Laine Scales moved to Waco in 1999 to begin work at Baylor University as a social work professor. Laine moved to Sanger Heights in 2003, renovating an old home on Colcord Avenue.  She has been engaged in Waco as a member of Hope Fellowship, the Community Race Relations Council, and Prosper Waco Education Steering Committee. At Baylor, Laine moved into university leadership and now serves as Associate Dean of Baylor’s Graduate School and Professor of Higher Education.  In 2016 she was awarded the Master Teacher designation, Baylor’s most prestigious teaching award. Laine publishes books and articles on the history of women in higher education and social work. Inspired by this legacy, creating a settlement house that brings together neighborhoods and universities for community improvement has been an important goal for her, so in 2012 she gathered a group of advisors to create what would eventually become Good Neighbor Settlement House and Worship Center, opened in 2016.